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Members of Task Force on Reparations Appointed

Apr 26, 2022 | News Releases

The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority, and the diocesan Standing Committee have appointed 16 diverse members to the Task Force on Reparations of the Diocese of Virginia. Two additional Task Force members – one from the Standing Committee and one from the Executive Board – will be named soon. The creation of this Task Force was initiated by a resolution adopted by the diocesan Annual Convention in 2021. Resolution R-10a commits the Diocese to appoint a “Reparations Task Force to identify and propose means by which repair may begin for those areas of our structures, patterns, and common life by which Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) … still carry the burden of injustices, exclusions, and biases born out of white supremacy and the legacy of slavery.” The resolution also commits the Diocese “to establish an endowment over the next five years of $10 million to be set aside as an initial investment,” the proceeds of which will directly benefit “BIPOC communities, people, programs, businesses, and institutions with preference for any which may have been specifically harmed by past unjust actions by the Diocese of Virginia, its institutions, or churches.”

“The Holy Spirit was powerfully at work in the creation of the Task Force,” Bishop Goff remarked. “I look forward to witnessing what the Holy Spirit is up to as the Task Force and many others across our Diocese engage this work with energy, hope and Christ-like love.”

The Rev. Dr. J. Lee Hill, Jr., diocesan Minister for Racial Justice and Healing, concurred, “We are deeply excited about the experience, skills, expertise, and expansive diversity of the Task Force. The hard work of realizing Beloved Community, healing breaches, and resetting the moral imagination of the Diocese of Virginia is being advanced through this important Task Force.”

The newly appointed members of the Task Force on Reparations were asked, “What excites you about beginning the work of reparation in the Diocese of Virginia? Why do you feel uniquely called to serve on this Task Force?” Read their responses below.

Reparations Task Force Members

Jeanette R. Cadwallender
St. George’s, Fredericksburg

“I am keenly aware of the many facets of Virginia’s history, as a member of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe and the Colonial Dames. I look forward to working on the Task Force on Reparations and exploring how reparations can be transformational for our Diocese.”

The Rev. Benjamin P. Campbell
St. Paul’s, Richmond

“We are blessed to be engaged in the American revolution, by the grace of God.”

Dennis Carter-Chand
St. Mary’s, Arlington

“I am thankful to be working with the Diocese of Virginia on its first reparations fund! At St. Mary’s, I participate in our Ministry on Race, Reconciliation, and Equity (MORE), and am now delighted to serve stewarding this work beyond our parish to the Diocese.”

Ernestine Gilpin
St. Philip’s, Richmond

“History and legacy are so important to the concept of reparations. I look forward eagerly to the exciting and challenging work of this Task Force to find and perhaps use the church’s history of strength, achievement, and manifestation of love in our communities as we confront and address together the darker sides of our institution.”

Harris Merman Greene, Jr. (Jay)
St. Philip’s, Richmond

“The Task Force, to me, represents a rare and amazing opportunity to participate in tangible discussions concerning our most historically-entrenched barriers to communication – race, culture and social order – and offer solutions to move the conversation from centuries-old negative idealism to one of healing, acceptance, love and Christian fellowship.”

Jabriel Hasan
St. Peter’s, Richmond

“I am excited about beginning the work of reparation in the Diocese of Virginia because I think that this is one of our most critical national tasks, both materially and spiritually.”

Malanna Henderson
St. George’s, Fredericksburg

“To be a part of the Diocese of Virginia’s Task Force on Reparations is an honor and privilege to serve the community in this unique way. Reparations will bring economic, educational and spiritual food to our society. This is a step in the right direction toward the Beloved Community that we all desire.”

Davette Himes
All Saints Sharon Chapel, Alexandria

“With an interest in family history, genealogy and education, it is an honor to serve as we seek and speak truth regarding slavery, its aftermath in our Diocese and its support of so many of our institutions. I look forward to serving on the Task Force and the work of engaging with communities of descendants, illuminating their stories and histories so intertwined with our own, as we begin to repair the harms and to atone for the sin of slavery. May we emerge strengthened and transformed in this groundbreaking work – a diocese moving together forward in faith, hope and love.”

Thomas W. Howard
St. Paul’s, Millers Tavern

“We seek to address and help heal some of the wounds and misgivings of our past, and to openly and visibly demonstrate that we are loving, faithful, serving members of the body of Christ.”

Wendy Ikesawa
St. Michael’s, Arlington

“I’m looking forward to being a part of the Diocese’s efforts to identify the means by which it begins to repair the many levels of injustice, exclusion and bias towards and against BIPOC.”

Amy Keenan-Amago
St. Paul’s, Ivy

“The work of reparations is crucial to acknowledging and beginning to repair the generational violence and spiritual harm caused by white supremacy. I am honored and eager to begin this essential work with my brothers and sisters, proceeding together toward a more honest and just Beloved Community.”

Laura Lafayette
Christ Church, Glen Allen

“Each Sunday we proclaim, ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth.’ I always ask myself what role I should seek to play in furthering God’s will for our Beloved Community. I believe God desires healing and reconciliation; reparations can be a powerful element in these efforts and I feel led to participate in this essential work for our times.”

Alex Peterson
Holy Cross, Dunn Loring

“I am excited to add my voice to this Task Force. In my life I have had the opportunity to attain both an MDiv and MBA, with foci on ethical leadership, strategy, and conflict resolution. I’ve married education with 17 years of practical experience with advantaged and disadvantaged communities around the world that are seeking to overcome past wrongs and repair their world through practical, tangible, and timely action. My hope is that my experience will help the Task Force and the Diocese in our efforts to seek justice.”

The Rev. Colleen Schiefelbein
St. Andrew’s, Burke

“The national church and the Diocese of Virginia have made apologies for their roles in slavery, but we, the people, have not done our part to change the lasting systems of oppression woven throughout our society. The work of reparation is a step toward putting action behind our apologies – to changing our ways. I hope we all more fully understand the ‘reconciling love of Christ’ when we are reconciled with our black and brown siblings as a Beloved Community through our work of reparations.”

Kristin Szakos
Trinity, Charlottesville

“I am eager to lend my skills and interests to the Diocese’s commitment to address its history of racial inequity and harm. I look forward to meeting others in this effort, and getting down to work.”

Donna Tildon-Archer, M.D.
St. Alban’s, Annandale

“I think that I will bring a knowledge of the history, the struggles and the successes of African Americans to the Task Force on Reparations. This work is an answered prayer for me to stand in solidarity with those crying out for justice and equality.”

To learn more, read the R-10a FAQs. For more information about the Task Force on Reparations, contact the Rev. Dr. J. Lee Hill, Jr., Minister for Racial Justice and Healing.